Press Statement

Pakistan: Pakistani authorities arrest tv anchor Imran Riaz Khan again

07 Mar, 2024

Imran Riaz Khan, a well-known Pakistani YouTuber and tv anchor, was arrested and placed on judicial remand by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore. Prior to this, an anti-corruption court had granted him bail in a contract corruption case. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Pakistan affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), urge the government to drop the charges against the journalist and immediately allow him to resume his activities.


He was apparently arrested in a corruption case, and an anti-corruption court ordered him to be remanded in police custody for five days, until March 6, pending an investigation. On March 6, when he appeared in court again, he was granted bail.  He was arrested again in a different terrorism case outside the court hours after being released on bail.

According to the new case, he is facing anti-terrorism charges for his alleged involvement in an incident at Zaman Park in Lahore, where he is accused of arson and throwing stones at police while they executed arrest warrants for former Prime Minister and PTI founder Imran Khan.

In the recent judicial procedures, attorney Ali Mian Ashfaq, who represents Khan, questioned the basis for the case and the eight-month delay before the arrest. Ashfaz emphasised the lack of evidence linking Khan to the charges, as well as the fact that no role was assigned in the FIR. Ashfaq further questioned the FIR’s repeated usage of “incite” without identifying the instigators or the direction of the mob’s attack on the police. Furthermore, he raised alarm about Khan’s detention, contrasting it with the other journalists who reported the event who have not been arrested.

The defence had requested the court to discharge the case and release Khan, while the prosecution urged the court to send him on judicial remand. After reserving the decision, the ATC judge eventually ordered the accused to be placed on judicial remand.

PFUJ President GM Jamali and Secretary General Rana Azeem said, “Government should understand that registering fake cases against journalists will destroy the say of the new established government in the media industry. The fabricated case against journalist Imran Riaz Khan must be dropped and he should be released immediately so he can carry out his responsibilities without fear.”

The IFJ said: “Bringing bogus police charges against journalists is a familiar tactic when trying to suppress media freedom.The IFJ urges Pakistani authorities to withdraw the cases against journalists and to stop using government machinery against journalists. We hope that the newly elected Pakistani government will ensure the freedom of press in the country.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: